Culturally Responsive Teaching and Training at CCBC

The Culturally Responsive Teaching and Training Program at CCBC enhances both educators’ and students’ awareness, adds to their knowledge of others, and strengthens their skills so that they can interact effectively with clients, patients, customers, co-workers, classmates, and colleagues.

As the population of the United States grows and becomes ever more culturally diverse, many people find themselves interacting more and more with people who are quite different from them. It is sometimes a challenge to know what to say, what to do, or how to respond to folks who, like us, bring their unique culturally-based expectations to the encounter. This is true in the classroom and in other fields of endeavor, and given the global village we find ourselves living in now, it is quite true of life in general.

Program overview

The CRT Program is unique among community colleges and 4-year colleges and universities. A joint project of the Office of Enrollment and Student Services via the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) [link] as well as the Office of Instruction via the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) [link], the CRT Program trains faculty and others by engaging them in self-reflective processes that allow them to convey to others—students, in particular--the need for self-reflection and self-awareness in life’s ever-changing cultural contexts. The CRT shows participants how to examine one’s assumptions, how to gain valuable multi-cultural experience by interacting and cooperating with others, and how to develop the specific knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively with all people.

The CRT Program emphasizes that because we human beings are the most social of animals, wherever human beings are, culture is present. Our perceptions, interpretations, beliefs, and even our sense of knowledge are culturally framed by our experiences in unique social capital networks of meaning making. In addition, because notions of race are learned within social-cultural networks, perceptions of race are also ever present and their impact should be examined both cooperatively and respectfully through dialogue.

For more than a decade, CCBC faculty and students, staff and administrators have created an expanded learning community focused on new, effective theories and practices that are culturally responsive and which open us all to the many contributions available within the diverse constituencies of the college.

Program format

Since 2005, the CRT Program has conducted intensive eight-day seminars twice a year with 15-20 participants in each learning cohort. Each intensive seminar begins by focusing on the following modules:
  • “The Meanings of Culture and Race”
  • “Overcoming Stereotype Threat”
  • “Culture and Mindsets of Intelligence”
  • “Social Capital, Learning, and Caring”
Other related topics are regularly addressed, such as attribution theory, productive persistence, micro-aggression, intersubjectivity, identity contingencies, privilege and power, and the politics of language variation.

The CRT Program modules have also been delivered as a series of separate two-hour workshops for over 200 adjunct faculty members, as individual professional development events, and as train-the trainer seminars when CRT facilitators visit other colleges as consultants.

Thousands of students and more than 500 professionals at CCBC have encountered the CRT Program’s concepts in classes, workshops, presentations, trainings and conferences.